It’s Saturday night. I’m at the office. Almost 9pm and Raaya is spending the weekend at her dad’s house. One year ago, this wouldn’t have been how I’d be spending an evening on a weekend. Although I’ve lived alone for the last 5 years, it wasn’t always my preference. Now? Home is my number 1 place to be. I had plans to be out with my best friend but I honestly bailed because I wanted to stay home and work out my problems (lol). That’s the honest truth.
I’ve been really worried about the economic situation we’re currently facing. With inflation at an all time high, and the shift in the real estate market, I’m stressed. This is adulthood and alhamdulillah that these are my tiny little problems. Tonight, I had a major realization that my responsibilities are too heavy to enjoy the simple things sometimes. And that’s because the onus is solely on me. When you are the single provider of an entire household, living in an expensive city, managing all the responsibilites on your own – it takes a toll on you. Sadly, the worry doesn’t end with finances. Actually – the worry doesn’t end, period. But that’s life and that’s inevitable. Whether you’re a single mom or not.
I wanted to use this post to simply outline a few worry points that come strictly with being a single parent. The motive behind this isn’t to stress you out – it’s simply to manage your expectations. So let’s get right into it.
Something that was an initial concern for me but I’ve learnt to manage is time. Doing everything on your own without the help of a partner can get tiring. On a daily basis, I literally have to fit in all meal preps, household tasks, pick up/drop off, homework help, bedtime routines, etc., all the while trying to run multiple businesses and also be an attentive enough mother. Most days – I’m exhausted. That can often lead to me not being as patient of a parent as I’d like to be. That also doesn’t allow me to give Raaya the attention she needs as a 5 year old. I can’t put my responsibilities aside to play with her all the time. I want to of course, but it isn’t that simple. It would be nice to share the burdens of adulthood with someone so that you can get a few hours to engage your child without juggling clients or keeping my engagement up on social media up so that I can sell enough products to meet my financial obligations. I’d love to have the capacity for it all – but I’m usually spread thin.
My goal is to show Raaya healthy examples of relationships so that one day, she too can emulate what she grew up watching. I was raised in a happy home where my parents truly loved each other. My brothers have thriving marriages with compromise and understanding. My Taya and Tayi have a wonderful marriage. I want to show her the same. But how can I do that well enough without her being exposed to her married parents? How will she learn the healthy habits of what a long-lasting marriage entails without examples? I’m sure she’ll figure it out, inshAllah – but still, I think about it.
Although outrageous, I also ponder what would happen if I didn’t wake up one morning. How would anyone know that Raaya is alone? I know eventually it would be sorted but what kind of trauma would be imposed on her in that timeframe? I’m morbid, I know. But this is due to all the experience I’ve personally had with death. I can’t help it. These might seem like unrealistic fears for my daughter but then again, is that really irrational? Death is the only guarantee in life and this scenario is very much a possibility. Allahuallam.
As parents, we all struggle with concerns on the upbringing of our children. As mothers, there is a reason why Jannah is under our feet. It’s a massive undertaking to rear children. But all we can really do is put our best foot forward and have faith in Allah that He will protect them, inshAllah. My worries are not different from other mothers but bearing the load on my own feels heavier on some days. Today was just one of them.
Photography: Preston Neville
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